Dougherty's winning the mind games

Ryder Cup hopeful Nick Dougherty has saluted the work of his mind man as he returns to the scene of the finest moment of his short career.

Mental coach Jamil Quireshi gave the Liverpudlian the belief he needed to go out and beat some of the best players in the game, including an idol of his in Colin Montgomerie, at last year’s Singapore Masters.

It was the 23-year-old’s first – and, to date, only – European Tour title, which he will defend next week.

He said: “In Singapore, Jamil helped me the night before the final round. He was saying I was good enough to beat these guys.

“But then you think, ’Monty’s won all those European Order of Merit titles, Thomas [Bjorn] is playing great’.

“But he made the point that I had beaten them on the third day and I could do it again. He leaves you with a very positive outlook.

“When I first met Jamil, he knew nothing about golf. Most of the work we do is about my personal life.

“By creating balance in my personal life he allowed me to get balance in my professional career. I have got clarity over everything I do now.”

Dougherty has regularly spoken of how his life, and consequently his game, is today in much better shape after a self-inflicted spell in the doldrums.

Refocused, he ended 2005 15th on the Order of Merit and recalls what the five-stroke win in Singapore meant to him.

“The best night out I’ve had in my life was the Sunday in Singapore,” Dougherty continued.

“It wasn’t a big night, I was just sitting in a bar and everyone was coming up to me. You think, ’You’ve done it!’

“To have the respect of the other players is so satisfying. It was picture perfect. To beat Monty and Thomas [Bjorn] on a tough course with a fantastic crowd there and to win by five shots, that is really something special.”

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